Welcome to St Germans Group Parish

Your Kingdom come.....Your will be done.
If you’re viewing this page on a phone or tablet, please turn to view in landscape mode, thank you. If you can’t see the list of services on the right hand side please use the connecting links or scroll down for these and other events and information.

Updates during this time of pandemic and resources to use at home

  • Our churches remain closed during February. We will review their opening as the situation develops and further guidance is received.
  • Our worship and church life online continues as always, led by Rev Lynn and the Ministry Team using Zoom software. These include morning and evening prayer and are on most days of the week. Click here for details. Please contact Rev Lynn if you would like to join us, there is no requirement to live within our benefice, you would be most welcome!
  • We are reviewing our churches remaining open for private prayer. Details to follow.
  • Although we can’t meet for Lent this year, we have a week by week set of activities for the church to follow Lent together, even though we are social distancing.

Week 1: Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted .. (Matthew 4:1) From baptism we are called to follow Jesus: to ‘walk in the dust of the rabbi.’ In Jewish culture, in the days of Jesus, young boys were taught by a rabbi – a teacher – who they often walked and talked with, and listened to. The boys were told to stay so close to their teacher, that they would be walking in the dust from the road that the rabbi kicked up behind him. Join us this week as we think about the times we have walked on hard, barren, or stony ground.

  • Grateful thanks go to the Cornwall Community Foundation for their grant award enabling us to buy equipment to dry out the hall at Hessenford following the recent flood. Read more about this here
  • The Church and community continue to act together: in Downderry and St Germans some £2,500 has been raised to provide Chromebooks to help the home education of some of our children in the parish. Thank you all so much for your generosity, with a special thanks to the Downderry WI who donated more than £300.
  • Pub theology continues online……click here for details
  • Lynn’s letter for February and the monthly newsletter can be found here. Lynn talks about the year past and positivity looking forward, and we learn more about one of our ministers in the parish, Rev. Garry Swinton
  • Our prayer course continues on Thursdays at 7pm, online on Zoom. The course is followed by night prayer or compline:


Online options

The Truro Diocese all age session at 9.30 on Facebook continue on a Sunday as usual! There is now a rota for these sessions that will still include Bishop Philip and Ruth.

Or you could still listen to one of the many radio options – Radio 4, Radio Cornwall offer services on a Sunday around 8am.

Or you could look at: Church of England website that now has more services to join – or at many churches and cathedrals up and down the country who have other offerings

A very good resource is https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/church-online

Browse a whole range of prayers you can choose from to read – or listen to:

Or using your computer, tablet or phone (as you prefer) and from your web browser access morning and evening prayer using this link:

Click here and choose what you need.

To read or hear the prayer for today, click on this link: http://cofe.io/TodaysPrayer

Browse around the various pages and you’re sure to find something that interests you.

Alternatively download an App for your tablet or phone. Church House Publishing or provide a number of these Apps and these can be downloaded from https://www.chpublishing.co.uk/apps/daily-prayer

If you have any difficulties with the daily prayer or have any questions please email and we’ll try to help.
Have a browse around the Church House Publishing website as there are other things of interest, perhaps https://www.chpublishing.co.uk/apps/reflections-for-daily-prayer   Some of these apps require a small subscription, but Daily Prayer is free.




Ensuring that children and young people as well as adults are kept safe whilst in our care is an integral part of our church life. If you have any concerns about safeguarding please contact:

In the Parish: Margaret Sylvester-Thorne,  Parish Safeguarding Co-ordinator, 01503 230676 (vicarage number, messages will be forwarded)

In the Diocese: Sarah Acraman Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, 01872 274351

Out of Hours for after 5pm and weekends: 01208 251300

In an emergency situation:

Local Authority Children’s Social Care: 0300 123 1116

Local Authority Adult’s Social Care: 0300 1234131

Parish Contacts

Parish Priest: Rev. Canon Lynn Parker – main point of contact for all matters

Curate: Rev. Laura Bushell-Hawke

Parish Wardens: Paul Gribble and Bill Woods

Readers/Licensed Lay Ministers: Richard Laugharne, Margaret Sylvester-Thorne, David Watters, Matt Frost

For weddings, baptisms, funerals and church services:  Rev. Canon Lynn Parker, David Watters and Margaret Sylvester-Thorne

Children’s work: Rev. Canon Lynn Parker, Evelyn Reed, David Watters, Margaret Sylvester-Thorne, Rev Laura Bushell-Hawke

Messy Church: Evelyn Reed

For buildings and general parish enquiries: the Parish Wardens:   Paul Gribble and Bill Woods

For Safeguarding:  Rev Laura Bushell-Hawke

Pastoral Visitors Team:  Pat Paxton

Parish Giving Scheme:  Paul Gribble

Finances: the Treasurer, Paul Gribble

Electoral Roll: Rosemary Stevenson

Enquiries about individual churches:

Downderry:  Andrew Pidgen

Hessenford: Fran Moore

St Germans: Richard Laugharne

Tideford: Evelyn Reed

Deanery Synod Reps:  David Watters,  Rosemary Stevenson and Paul Gribble

Cashiers: Peter Daw – St Germans; Tim Pullin – Downderry; Hugh Parker – Tideford and Fiona Bristow – Hessenford.

Additional PCC Members from November 2020

Tim Pullin, Stephen Guffick, Tilly Thompson, Yvonne Byles, Hugh Parker, Susan Booth, Dawn Couling, and Fiona Bristow

Hire and other info on St Germans Priory Church for events:

The St Germans Priory Trust:   www.stgermanspriory.info

Hire of the Church Hall in Hessenfordhttp://www.hessenford.net


Lynn’s thoughts about Lent…..

Why Keep Lent?

Lent, is the forty days before Easter (not counting Sundays), and is a somewhat curious period in the Church’s calendar. Some things in the Church’s year are festivals, like Easter, Christmas, Harvest and Saints days – and we happily talk about “celebrating them”. Lent is quite different: it is a period which is never ‘celebrated’ but only ‘kept’.

It has its own colour, which is purple, a colour used to denote sadness or sombreness, the colour that is always used at funerals, and there are never flowers in church during lent, to add to the starkness.

Many Christians try to give up something: for instance, chocolate, Facebook, or even television. It’s even become a period for us to try to break bad habits, almost as if Lent gives us another opportunity to retake those New Year’s resolutions!

Indeed many of these concepts have grown out of cultural, secular or traditional ideas, and if you were to talk to your none Christians friends they would indeed understand this basic principle of what lent is about.

Some people take on new tasks, or disciplines, or acts of kindness – perhaps offering to get your neighbours shopping, or phoning friends who are by themselves, or taking on something for your inner self like extra bible study or prayer time.

You could even be extra creative and make for your door a lentern wreath, (ideas above)

But to Christians lent is very significant as it is essential to their lives of faith.
So what exactly is Lent about to a believer?

Well, the one word used by those who fully observe Lent is ‘preparation’.

Lent is a preparation for Easter.                                                                                                                             

Lent is a preparation for life. 

Lent is a preparation for Eternity. 

Therefore it is a time of reflection, discovery and spiritual depth.

This of course takes time, commitment, and involvement, which is why we hold Lent courses, to make a symbolic and practical statement about the need to think differently.

We can also take time out for personal reflection, for special prayers and perhaps enhance our scriptural knowledge by using a Bible reading scheme.

Spending Time with God during lent will allow us to uncover the broken areas of our lives and will let Jesus build us into people fit for his kingdom, and ready for Easter.  

Loving God, as we journey through this holy season of Lent, give us strength and courage to make the changes that are needed in our lives. Open our hearts and minds to your steadfast presence and help us to put our trust in you. Amen.

Yours in Christ

Canon Lynn

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For this month’s newsletter please click on this link February Newsletter

Continuing our series of who’s who within the benefice – this month it is the turn of Rev. Garry Swinton, one of the ministers living within our Benefice

I was born in Stafford, and like the rest of my family, migrated southwards.  My parents spent the last 30 years of their lives in Liskeard, and I have a brother and my sister, and their grown-up families, who scattered and now live in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.

My vocation to the priesthood started early, and I guess from a child I knew that’s what I was meant to do.   There were no blinding moments or voices just a deep sense that this was what God wanted me to do with my life.

None of my family were particularly religious and I prided myself on being the white sheep of the family!  I guess that sense of being on the edge has shaped my ministry, and I tend to view religion, and especially the Church of England, from those on the outside.

I did my degree and trained as a teacher at the College of St Mark and St John in Plymouth, taught Religious Education in a tough school in East London before training for the ministry at Ripon College Cuddesdon Oxford.

The whole of my ministry, apart from these few 5 years of experience of church here in the Benefice, has been in London.  Ordained to a curacy in Surbiton in the Southwark Diocese, I learnt the bread and butter of parish life as it was then, visiting, baptisms, marriages and funerals.  From Surbiton to be the Succentor of Southwark Cathedral.   Succentors are junior or Minor Canons, who run and organise the services in the Cathedral.   This was a great experience in learning the mechanics of liturgy, and that all worship, whether in a classroom, house group, or indeed on line, is about striving for excellence.

During my time the most significant occasion, amongst many, was when I helped organise the first ordination of women to the priest hood in 1992.   We organised 3 services in one day for over 90 candidates.   The last included Elsie Baker, who at the age of 84 had been granted special dispensation to be ordained priest.   From an Anglo Catholic tradition, where the place of women certainly wasn’t behind an altar, she had wanted to be a priest since she was 8 years old.   I remember the Entry Procession took an extra 5 minutes, because we all walked at Elsie’s pace, but waiting an extra 5 minutes to be ordained seemed as nothing to the 76 years Elsie had waited!

At Southwark I was also Chaplain to the Choir and organised tours to the USA and France, and became Chair of Governors to the Cathedral Primary School which takes children from the council flats of Borough and Bankside.  The school was in complete disarray but after lots of hard work and the appointment of a Headteacher, who went onto be ‘Damed’, (it was in the New Year’s Honours list, and as I reminded Sylvia it was pantomime season), we established a school which offers and still offers an exceptional education to inner city children.

From Southwark I was appointed as Priest in Charge of St Faith’s Wandsworth Town and Chaplain to the YMCA in Wimbledon.   Again, I was Chair of Governors of the church primary school and at the YMCA working with children in afterschool clubs and in a Foyer Project for homeless and unemployed young people.   Typically, young men from dysfunctional homes and with poor education, often with experience on the wrong side of the law and prison bars, and who need a place of healing as they relaunched themselves in life as an adult.

My work here made me think about school chaplaincy, and as I did not see myself working in the independent sector, I became the Chaplain and a teacher of Religious Studies at The Grey Coat Hospital and Westminster City School, a girls and boys school respectively in Victoria in Central London.

Here I have worked with the children of Government minister, some of the most privileged, to those struggling in poverty and dysfunctional families.   Across the two schools there are the students come from over 100 nationalities, many languages and as Church Schools, children from every sort of Christian and Muslim denomination.   I began in September 2001, and one of my first assemblies was responding to the events of 9/11.  From that moment I knew part of my ministry was maintaining a dialogue and supporting the Muslim students, and over the years we worked through the War and aftermath of the War in Iraq, the London bombings, radicalisation and latterly the disproportion impact of Covid on their families.

There have been some challenging moments in my school ministry, and this was counterbalanced by my role as a Priest Vicar at St Margaret’s Church part of Westminster Abbey which offered me the quintessential experience of the Church of England.

My ministry has had enormous contrasting experiences. One Ash Wednesday morning, I stood at the Altar, presiding in Westminster Abbey in a Eucharist for the 1000 students from Grey Coat and in the afternoon, ankle deep in mud and the freezing cold in the Ashdown Forrest with Year 7 boys on a residential trip as they completed team building activities.

During my time in school I became fascinated by the spirituality of teenagers and what they do when they pray, and I tried to articulate what I saw and to offer some narrative.  Perhaps one day it might turn into a Master’s degree or even an article in some learned journal.

And so, I now find myself settling into life full time in Downderry, after Covid forced the charitable foundation who paid my salary to make me redundant.  After nearly 34 years of ordained ministry it might be the time to see more of my family, enjoy life in coastal Cornwall and strengthen friendships I have made after nearly 5 years of commuting between London and Cornwall.

I love the energy, the madness, the diversity and tolerance of London life and I love the time to watch the sea, to walk along the coastal paths and experience the calmer pace of life in Cornwall.

Recently I was taken by a quotation by the scientist Stephen Hawkin, whose ashes are now interred in Scientist’s Corner in Westminster Abbey.  He said that had noticed that those who believe in predestination still looked both ways when they cross the road.  I am sure God has no plan to inflict pain on us, but has gifted us with the skill, wisdom and discernment to navigate whatever happens next.


~   News and Events in the Parish   ~

All our public events have been cancelled for the time being but we are meeting online where we can.

Zoom Pub Theology

Now running fortnightly

A chance to discuss ideas and thoughts about all matter of things theological.

After a short introduction of 5 minutes (or more), the conversation is open.

Meet via Zoom from 7.30 – 8.30pm every other Tuesday 

Topics:       TBA….please let Richard have any suggestions

For a Zoom link or enquiries or suggestions, ring Richard Laugharne (01503-230333) or email on richard.laugharne@nhs.net

All welcome! Click here to go back to top.


Cornwall Community Foundation award grant for Hessenford Hall

Following the heavy rains in December and January the church hall in Hessenford was flooded as the river rose and backed up against the bridge by the pub. The flooding was minor compared to the previous event a few years back, a testament to the effectiveness of the flood prevention measures put in after that, but nonetheless left the floor and lower walls very damp. The insurance assessor recommended use of an industrial dehumidifier and fan to do the drying out that was needed. Research quickly showed that after a short period or rental it was cheaper to purchase the equipment we needed, and we are delighted to have been awarded a grant by the Cornwall Community Foundation (CCF) for that purchase. A huge thank you to them, drying out is now going on. Purchase also means that we have equipment at the ready if this happens again, or to assist elsewhere in the benefice should there be a need. You can find out more about CCF’s other good works by clicking on this link: CCF website.

Thanks also go to the good folk on the hall committee for all the work they did clearing up and making the application for the grant – all much appreciated.


Messy Church

meeting in St Germans Methodist Church

Currently cancelled, but work going on in the background

Messy Church is a form of church for children and adults that involves creativity, celebration and hospitality – it’s fun!

If you’d like to help out please speak to Evelyn or ring her on 01503 230449

Find out more at https://www.messychurch.org.uk/what-messy-church-and-isnt


Events at St Germans Priory Church


None at present





THE FOOD BANK – no change to the message – our help is needed

With the restrictions imposed by the government it is now difficult for us to collect and deliver food to the foodbank, though this situation is improving You will have read in the press that the need is greater than ever as panic buying and wage cuts take effect How can you help the Foodbank? The…

Read more

St Germans Priory Trust

If you would like to volunteer to help the Project in any way please visit our website at www.stgermanspriory.info  and let us know your contact details. Board of Priory Trustees Chair- Richard Laugharne Vice Chair – Fiona Bristow Secretary – Brenda Daw Support Officer – Jo Rimron Ann Demaine Peter Daw Hugh Parker Bob Foulkes.

Read more
Latest News

News Archives

Phone 01503 230676 (Rev Lynn Parker – main contact)

The parish address for email is:

parker30@hotmail.com (main contact)

St Germans, Hessenford, Downderry & Tideford services

Please also refer to our “A Church Near You” websites for other information:

If you are able, please consider a donation to help the work of the church in our community by clicking on the logo:

  Our churches remain closed for February. Please join us online, details below.

Please refer to main page for details. Our online services continue, see below.

All services are at 10am unless otherwise noted

1st Sunday7th FebSheviockNo service
7th FebDownderryNo service
7th Feb
OnlineEvening Worship 7pm
2nd Sunday14th FebSt GermansNo service
14th FebAntonyNo service
14th FebOnlineEvening Worship 7pm
3rd Sunday21st FebDownderryNo service
21st FebSheviockNo service
21st FebOnlineEvening Worship 7pm
4th Sunday28th FebAntonyNo service
28th FebSt Germans
No service
28th FebOnlineEvening Worship 7pm
5th SundayNo 5th SundayNo service

Regular weekday services are also suspended:

Every Tuesday10amTidefordNo service
Every WednesdayNo serviceDownderryNo service
Every Thursday10amHessenfordNo service

We will continue to run our online services as below:

Sundays10amMorning Worship
Mondays7pmEvening or Night prayer
Tuesdays10amMorning Worship
Wednesdays10amMorning Prayer
Thursdays7pmPrayer Course & Evening or Night prayer
Fridays10amMorning Prayer
Saturdays7pmEvening or Night prayer

Please email Rev. Lynn, details below, if you would like to join us.

Rev. Lynnparker30@hotmail.com

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We are reviewing opening our churches openings for private prayer only.


A good resource for prayers and services is https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/church-online


THE FOOD BANK – no change to the message – our help is needed

With the restrictions imposed by the government it is now difficult for us to collect and deliver food to the foodbank, though this situation is improving

You will have read in the press that the need is greater than ever as panic buying and wage cuts take effect

How can you help the Foodbank?

The best way to help now is to give money directly to the foodbank – please give what you can using this link:


Alternatively, if your supermarket has a foodbank bin, please put items in there.

If you could help through regular donations they would be extremely grateful. Setting up a Standing Order is ideal, but any donation would be wonderful. They can also take donations CAF and Stewardship schemes.

To learn a bit more about how the foodbank works, please click here to watch a useful video made by the Truro foodbank.

If you can help please contact the Liskeard & Looe Foodbank.

Tel: 07512 011452.

email: liskeard.foodbank@gmail.com

Thank you for your support.

East Wivelshire

The area of the Diocese of Truro area is that of the county of Cornwall including the Isles of Scilly. It was formed on 15 December 1876 from the Archdeaconry of Cornwall in the Diocese of Exeter. It is therefore one of the younger dioceses.

The diocese is divided into two archdeaconries:

Rural deaneries

The names of the older deaneries (before 1875) are based on those of the ancient hundreds though the boundaries do not always correspond. The deaneries created in 1875 in the episcopate of Frederick Temple were Bodmin, Stratton, St Austell, and Carnmarth. These remained unchanged until Carnmarth was divided; later still in the 1980s some alterations of boundaries occurred. Chronological Sequence:

Estwevelsire, 1259; Estwyvelschyre, 1291; Estwevelschire, 1366; Easte, 1672; East, 1847, 1980; East Wivelshire, 1997, 2009.

St Germans Group Parish PCC as from February 2020

Permanent members of the PCC

The Vicar – Rev Canon Lynn Parker

LayChair –  Rosemary Stevenson

Secretary – Evelyn Reed

Treasurer – Paul Gribble

Parish Wardens:

Paul Gribble and Bill Woods

Church Stewards:

Downderry: Andrew Pidgen
Hessenford: Fran Moore
Tideford: Sue Merrick
St Germans: Richard Laugharne

PCC members:

Downderry: Sue Booth, Jenny Daniels   Cashiers:  Tim Pullin
Hessenford: Yvonne Byles,  Dawn Couling.  Cashier:  Fiona Bristow
St Germans: Sue Merrick, Evelyn Reed.   Cashier: Peter Daw
Tideford:  Hugh Parker.  Cashier: Peter Daw

Deanery Synod Reps:

Margaret Sylvester-Thorne, David Watters. Bill Woods